Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Category 5: A Book That's Over 100 Years Old


Yes, I have read this before.
Yes, it is my #1 favorite book in the world.
Yes, I want it to count toward the chaplenge.
It deserves a spot, because it is wonderful.
I'm 1/5th of the way through and it is phenomenal all over again!

Xoxo

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (#2)


STAR RATING
5/5

Hnnnggg this booooook.

I swear I was not okay the entire time.  I was not okay when I started, I was not okay when I was reading it, and I was definitely not okay when I got to the end.

My feelings for this book are rather...complicated.  And because of that, I loved it.
LOVED.

I was not sure for a while.  I've been an Adam girl from day 1.  Can anyone say tall dark and handsome?  But I knew I was going to have to put up with Warner in this book, and I hate Warner.
Erm, Hated.
I hate him no longer.
But I'm jumping ahead of myself.

Juliette has been blind this entire trilogy.  She doesn't understand what's going on because she's been locked away, ostracized her entire life, beat down like a dog in the streets. For her, what she sees and feels is real and right.  And because we are so invested in her world and in her thoughts and emotions, it's real and right to us as well.
I LOVED THIS.  I was not expecting it, either.  I was going along with her, doing whatever she did, thinking how she did, seeing the world through her eyes.  It's not often that I experience this, at least on the level I did with Juliette.

This book destroyed everything I thought I believed.  It made me feel uncomfortable.  It made me uncertain of who I loved and who I hated.  It made me doubt everything.

I like to be certain.  I like to have my foot in the door.  I DO NOT like to be betrayed.  (That's actually one of my #1 pet peeves in reading.)
But Mafi did it right.  As Juliette realized things, so did I.  And I wasn't quick to jump on the Warner bandwagon, either.  I was wary of him, even into the next book.  But it was this book that made me start to love him.
For that, I am forever grateful.

And you know freaking chapter 62?  I did not fall madly in love with it as you all did.  I was actually scared of it.  My feelings terrified me.  I didn't want to change, I didn't want to feel conflicted.  I didn't want to be wrong.

Basically, I'm feeling the feels.

Aside from all my emotional garbage, I absolutely adored this book and the writing and the characters and just...everything about it.  AND THE TWISTS OKAY.  I DID NOT SEE HALF OF THIS COMING.  Because Mafi's writing style focuses on the emotional, there were a few times I wished things were a little more clearly described.  But aside from that - wow.  I'm just so impressed.  SO IMPRESSED.


SUMMARY
Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.


CONTENT REVIEW
Lots of kissing.  I mean it.  And some clothes come off.  And things get hot and heavy.  I think there are probably two or three scenes like this?  No more than 3.  And some of the characters are quite taken to cursing. (GD a few times.  I think that's the worst one.)

The Official "I'm Back" Giveaway! (US only)

OH YEAH!  I'm giving away the entire Trylle Trilogy to my lovely US followers.  (Sorry international friends!  I promise I have a giveaway for you all coming up soon!)

The copies I have are in awesome, like-new condition.  I think they've been read once.

My only rules are that you have to be 13 or older and have a US mailing address.  And that you have to love books, but who are we kidding?

And here goes!  Enjoy!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins


STAR RATING
5/5
Forever Favorite

This book freaking ruined me.

Forever.

I'm not kidding when I say this.  I AM SO DONE WITH ALL OTHER BOOKS AND BOOK BOYS AND SETTINGS AND WRITING STYLES AND MAIN CHARACTERS.  I JUST WANT LOLA FOREVER AND EVER.

I was so tempted to start this book over again the moment I finished it.  If I wasn't trying to get ahead on my Goodreads challenge, as well as my other challenge, I would have.  And let's be real here, I probably won't make it a couple of months before reading it again.

This book was, dare I say it, perfect.  Lola was flawed but lovable, her boyfriend wasn't the typical older douche-bag bf in a band, her parents were adorable, her friends were also flawed, and ANNA AND ETIENNE, and the San Francisco beauty Perkins described so well.......  The conflict and the love and the youth.
Oh, am I forgetting something?
Nah, I'm just saving the best for last.
You know, only the most important part.  The thing about this book that made it the greatest book I've read in a while.  The person who may have landed this book a spot in my top 5 favorite books EVER list.

Cricket Bell, my friends.

It was like Stephanie Perkins reached inside my mind, picked out all of the qualities (physical and otherwise) that I find attractive in a man, and decided to put them all in one character in the perfect book.  That is what Cricket Bell is to me.  He is the dream.  A flawed, imperfect, realistic dream, and it makes me ache, because he felt so...close.  So easy to just reach out and touch.  But of course I couldn't reach out and ruffle his hair or run my hand over the sleeve of whatever immaculate jacket he was wearing that day or smile at his pointed shoes or stare longingly into his perfect eyes.  I wanted to, though.  Oh, you have no idea how badly I wanted to steal this man away and marry him.

He is, without a doubt, my #1 Book Boyfriend, EVER.  I never thought I'd find one.  I always read about boys who have a lot of qualities, or look like how I prefer, or dress the right way, or talk/act the way I find most attractive.  But no.  Cricket Bell is everything, rolled up into one heck of a sweet boy next door who completely stole me away.

And did I mention....I am a lot like Lola?  Her struggles were so real to me and everything she did was like, "Yep.  I getcha girl."  I loved her and adored her and want more of her.

The story flowed seamlessly and the conflict, like I said, was phenomenal.  I was dying for more with every page.  I adored everything about this book.  I don't know how I will ever read another contemporary better than this.  I don't see how it's possible, okay?  Don't ask me to hope because there is no hope.  I am legit drowning in the awesome of this book, still.

Excuse me.  Off to fangirl some more.


SUMMARY
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit—more sparkly, more fun, more wild—the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket—a gifted inventor—steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

CONTENT REVIEW
Kissing.  Reference to Lola sleeping with her (much older) boyfriend 3 times.  She loses her virginity to him at 17.  Lola has two dads.  Her birth mom is crazy and they discuss Norah's life throughout the book.  A naked woman on a poster.  Some cussing and sexual jokes/references.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Category 4: A Book With Magic

So you all probably know this is my specialty.
I love fantasy. I read and write fantasy like nobody's business. My choice for a Book With Magic is.....


I own all three books in this trilogy and also the first in one of Hocking's other series. I almost bough Frostfire today and was like, "Noooo, you haven't read any of her books yet. Read one you own first, see if you like her, then come back."

Which is how I came to this conclusion. I am so excited to get into it. Hopefully I'll love it. The last book I finished was a 1 star for me so I'm looking for something awesome.

Here's to hoping, right?

Review: The Boy On the Bridge by Natalie Standiford


STAR RATING
1/5 stars

This book was hopeless. I am so sad about it. I truly thought I was going to enjoy this book. And maybe I would have - if I hadn't been so annoyed and turned off by the writing. It was very juvenile and telling and ridiculous and I wanted to fix the entire thing, rewrite it, actually show things happening.

Honestly, however, admidst all that frustration....I love how unromanticized it was. So much of it was real and raw and that's awesome - it's just that it felt like the story was being told to me. By a very bored speaker at a conference.

No thank you.

I even had a hard time discerning whose POV it was for a couple of pages. Was it Laura's? Her friend's? It felt very strange through the whole thing, even after I figured out it was Laura.

I think my favorite characters were Alexei's friends. Can't remember their names, because even they made little-to-no impression on me...but still. They were intriguing.

Also, what was with Laura's feelings progressing so quickly without any real reason? I was so confused. One minute she's like, "Oh, we're just helping each orher with language skills!" And the next it's, "I'm jealous of this random female friend of his!"

Come ON. We've seen it all before.

Anyway. Ridiculous. Glad I pushed through but, also...not? Sucks that my first read of the year was a ONE STAR. Blech.

That is all.


SUMMARY

Laura Reid goes to Leningrad for a semester abroad as Cold War paranoia is peaking in 1982. She meets a young Russian artist named Alexei and soon, with Alexei as her guide, Laura immerses herself in the real Russia--a crazy world of wild parties, black-market books and music, and smuggled letters to dissidents. She must keep the relationship secret; associating with Americans is dangerous for Alexei, and if caught, Laura could be sent home and Alexei put under surveillance or worse. At the same time, she's been warned that Soviets often latch onto Americans in hopes of marrying them and thus escaping to the United States. But she knows Alexei loves her. Right?

As June approaches--when Laura must return to the United States--Alexei asks Laura to marry him. She's only nineteen and doesn't think she's ready to settle down. But what if Alexei is the love of her life? How can she leave him behind? If she has a chance to change his life, to rescue him from misery, shouldn't she take it?

CONTENT REVIEW
Some mild cursing. Two characters sleep together a few times but it is handled without detail and with very little enthusiasm. Because of how it was written, I barely knew what was going on at first.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Category 3: A Book By A Female Author

So I actually read this already, but I figured you should all see that I picked it for the challenge....even if I decided this after I read it. :)


I promise a review is coming soon.
Let's just say this was one of the best books I've ever read. Period.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Category 2: Book With A Love Triangle

Ahhhh the good ole love triangle. I have chosen, and I am very excited to see what's in store for me here:


I have been dying to read this book since reading Shatter Me in December 2013. The gorgeous prose, the beautiful depiction of humanity - I am so ready for more.

And when Mafi signed my copy of Shatter Me, she mentioned a certain specifc steamy chapter that I am dyyyying to read and see what the hype is about.

I will have a review up for The Boy On the Bridge soon. (That was my first pick for the challenge.)

Happy New Year, my friends!!